Where to stay on Gili Air Lombok: our accommodation guide | almost landing
Gili Air is a small island in Lombok, Indonesia, about a 10-minute speedboat ride from the Lombok mainland, a 2.5-hour speedboat ride from the Bali mainland, or 2 hours from the Nusa Islands. It has beautiful clear waters, coconut palms and you can get around the whole island by bike. In fact, motorized transport is not allowed, it only adds to the island vibes. So where to stay on Gili Air? Here’s our Gili Air accommodation guide to help you choose…
Where to stay in Gili Air? area guide
Gili Air is a small island and most places can be reached within a 10-20 minute bike ride.
The main areas to stay in Gili Air can be divided into staying on the beach or staying inland, or by North, South, East and West. But what is the best area to stay?
Gili Air Map
Staying on the beach or inland?
Honestly, in our opinion, it doesn’t really matter if your accommodation is on the beach or not, as even if it’s inland it will be very close to the beach, and maybe a bit quieter.
We stayed inland in a beautiful pool villa, which was only a 5 minute bike ride from the nearest beach and was on a lovely quiet street with palm trees and a few local houses around it.
Inland would be our pick as the best place to stay for a more local feel. The beaches on the east side would be our accommodation choice on Gili Air for the best beaches.
Should I stay on the north, south, east or west of Gili Air?
The eastern side of the island is the best area to stay on Gili Air for swimming and snorkelling, as it has the best beaches.
The south side of the island is perhaps the busiest, as it is where the jetty is and where the boats arrive and depart. So this would be our choice of where to stay if you don’t want to do a lot of walking with luggage but also don’t mind a more touristy feel.
And the west side is the best area to stay on Gili Air for sunsets, where you can see Mount Agung in Bali.
As for taking your luggage to your accommodation, you can get a cidomo which is like a small horse and cart, but since we honestly did not know about the treatment and care of horses, we decided not to use them. You could also rent a bike if you only had a backpack.
We walked to our accommodation with our bags, which was fine but it will be slow. Please note that some paths are sand/dirt, particularly part of the western and northern paths around the beach, so this will be more difficult.
But overall, due to Gili Air’s small size, it’s one of the only places where location doesn’t really matter. I would decide based on the best accommodation for you, whether it is a guest house, a hotel or a villa.
You can really easily reach all areas of the island, so below we have our accommodation guide with the best places to stay on Gili Air, Lombok.
Should I stay on Gili Air or Gili Trawangan?
Gili Air may be just a short boat ride from Gili Trawangan, but the two islands are very different. One question we had when we first visited the Gili Islands was which Gili Island to stay on. All the Gili Islands have no motorized transportation, and all have beautiful clear waters surrounding them.
Gili Trawangan has the largest number of tourists, restaurants, shops, bars, etc. It is the busiest island and the one you should stay on if you want to party. That said, there are areas of the island where you can escape the crowds and have a quieter stay if that’s what you’re after. It also has some beautiful beaches.
Gili Air is a calmer island than Gili Trawangan with fewer tourists. It still has some delicious restaurants and things to do. Personally, I preferred the white sand beaches for swimming and snorkeling. Gili Air would be our choice for a stay in the Gili Islands for a good balance of activity, things to do, and even fewer crowds. It is a great option for couples and families. Having said that, I think that out of all the Gili Islands, most people will find something to love about Gili Air.
Gili Meno is another of the Gili Islands, which is characterized for being the quietest and most virgin. It is popular for romantic stays, honeymoons and people looking for a quiet stay.
How much time to spend on Gili Air?
Personally, I think 2 days and 2 nights is a minimum. Spending time here is all about relaxing, taking it easy and enjoying nature, which is hard to do if you have a short stay.
You can also easily spend up to a week on Gili Air if you are happy to have a quieter holiday and fully enjoy the island, or stay here to do a diving course or something similar.
If you have time, I would recommend choosing two of the three Gili islands to stay a couple of nights on each, as each island has a completely different personality.
When looking for where to stay, we always look for our hotels on Booking.com. Easy to use and also has a great app.
Airbnb is another good option if you are looking to stay in a private villa.
Gili Air Accommodation Guide
Our picks for the best places to stay on Gili Air below are based on our favorites we’ve stayed in, knowledge of the best hotels and their specific locations, lots of research, reading reviews, news from you, and the combination of it all. this with our own experience.
So here are our favorite picks for where to stay on Gili Air…
Please note: Prices are per night and were correct at the time of this publication.
Splurge: Luxury Accommodation on Gili Air
Villas with private pool Slow Gili Air | from $295 AUD | Consult Prices
We loved staying at Slow Villas. It is the perfect place to stay in relaxed luxury accommodation that makes you feel even more connected to the island. It quickly feels like your own beautiful island home, with a stunning private pool and garden. Slow has a focus on environmental sustainability.
Villas with private pool Ke Rensia | from $190 AUD | check prices
Photo credit: Ke Rensia
Atoll Haven Villas | from $244 AUD | check prices
Photo Credit: Atoll Haven Villas
Ama-Lurra Resort | from $181 AUD | check prices
Photo credit: Ama Lurra
Villa Tokay – Luxury Private Villas | from $303 AUD | Consult Prices
Photo credit: Villa Tokay
Rimba Villas | from $220 AUD | check prices
Photo credit: Rimba Villas
Gili Air Villas (2 bedrooms or more)
These villas below only have two bedrooms or more. But some of the villas listed above also come with one-bedroom, two-bedroom, or more options, so be sure to check those out as well.
Villa Merbau (2 Bedroom Villa) | from $290 AUD | check prices
Photo credit: Villa Merbau
Gili Air Sanctuary Villa & Resort (2 Bedroom Villa) | $449 | check prices
Luxury hotels for less
PinkCoco Gili Air | from $144 AUD | Consult Prices
Photo credit: PinkCoco
Villa Saia | from $122 AUD | check prices
Gili Air Escape | from $129 AUD | check prices
The Beautiful Island | from $134 AUD | check prices
Vyana Resort | From $119 AUD | Consult Prices
Resort Dolcemare | from $118 AUD | Consult Prices
Marina Villa | from $115 AUD | Consult Prices
To Villa Gili Aire | from $130 AUD | Consult Prices
Best Gili Air Hotels Under $100/Night
Manusia Dunia Green Lodge | from $89 AUD | Consult Prices
Photo credit: Manusia Dunia Green Lodge
Villa Senang | from $87 AUD | Consult Prices
Samata Town | from $79 AUD | check prices
Camilla Resort | from $59 AUD | Consult Prices
Diving Manta Gili Air Resort | from $60 AUD | check prices
Gili Air Lagoon Resort | from $59 AUD | Consult Prices
Mowies on the beach | from $83 AUD | Consult Prices
The Koho Air Hotel | from $88 AUD | check prices
La Siesta Bungalows and Kitchen | from $73 AUD | check prices
Captain Cocos | from $66 AUD | Consult Prices
Taman Senang | From $87 AUD | Consult Prices
Best Hotels Under $50/Night
Homestay Nanas | from $44 AUD | Consult Prices
Photo Credit: Nanas Homestay
Cafe of the Arts | from $34 AUD | check prices
We will continually update this post with any new places we stay and love, to make sure we recommend the best accommodation.
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What is your choice to stay on Gili Air? Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below…
This article was first published on March 12, 2019 and was last updated in 2023.